Golob advocates employee involvement in response to criticism

Ljubljana – Robert Golob, the leader of the Freedom Movement and the likeliest new prime minister, said the incoming coalition’s agreement envisaged employee involvement as he responded to criticism saying that the document would put the economy in a corner. He noted Slovenia would not be a country of serfs in what is a reference to a canonical Slovenian play.

A concept where the employer is the only one to decide how the social dialogue will develop is outdated, Golob said on Wednesday, following the first extraordinary session of the new parliament.

Unless Slovenia actively involves employees in the co-management of companies and “co-owning of companies if you like”, it will never boost value added, he noted.

“A system under which the employer is the master whom the worker must unconditionally obey, and under which the worker has no say is a system of serfs; we do not want to be a country of serfs and we will not be,” Golob stressed in reference to the play Serfs by one of Slovenia’s most celebrated authors, Ivan Cankar (1876-1918), which champions the freethinking outlook.

Golob added that employee involvement efforts were a part of the emerging coalition’s election platforms that were backed by most voters. He is pleased to see that they have the full and unanimous support of trade unions and workers’ representatives.

The draft coalition agreement recently drew criticism by several economists who described it as unrealistic and an example of “leftist populism”, as well as by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS), which said it lacked a stronger focus on the economy.

Criticism was also levelled against a segment of the agreement that deals with healthcare and has prompted concerns that doctors’ side jobs will be banned, a potential measure that has been since refuted by the candidate for the health minister post, Danijel Bešič Loredan.

Golob said that the coalition was being praised by “users of the healthcare system, people who are fed up with the fact that public healthcare is not working”. People welcome measures that will help the system to fulfil its public function, he added.

According to Golob, the criticism comes from a minority of medical professionals. “They are basically being exploited by some of their colleagues. By those who are best paid and work on the side,” Golob said.